Autumn is about new beginnings and the perfect time to focus on what you really want from your home and garden. So we challenged Fiona Penny Bespoke Home Finders
to provide us with the best property trends this season.
With a closely-guarded, bulging contacts book of tried and tested, trustworthy professionals and trades-people in Kent and East Sussex she seemed like the perfect person to take on the task. Here’s our curated list of 5 ULTIMATE TIPS – one from each of her experts:
Catherine – Kitchen designer
1. Top tip: ‘Experience your kitchen in virtual reality.’
A new kitchen is an investment and to feel confident in your decisions take advantage of the latest design technology. Walk around your new kitchen, open doors and drawers, get a real feel of the space and pick colours and finishes you will be happy with for years to come. Cutting-edge VR enables you to see what the future of your home could look like, before building it in reality. Never have plans come to life like this: you can instantly explore ideas and rule out others. Walk around an incredible double-height kitchen or see how adding a stunning kitchen island will transform the space. Lots of designers are offering this service. Try it!
Emma – Interior designer
2. Top tip: ‘Experiment with patterns and colours’
Grey is dead. Yup, sorry, to be so dramatic, but it’s true! It’s all about warmer tones and moving towards fresh, natural materials such as stone, copper, concrete, and granite. Whilst mixing and matching patterns and textures. Be true to your home, embrace its idiosyncrasies. It doesn’t always have to be straight lines and right angles to be beautiful design. And if you’ve got lots of grey already layer it up by trying different colours. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – experiment.
Sam – Garden Designer
3. Top tip: ‘Your garden is an extension of your home’
Just like the inside of your house, remember when it comes to your garden, even with the smallest of spaces, zoning is key. Create spaces within the garden that meet your needs – chill-out zone/snug, play area, dining terrace. Also try to link your garden with your internal spaces by picking up on design details such as colours, patterns and materials. Outdoor rugs and matching cushions are great for extending indoors out into the garden.
Soraya – Architect
4. Top tip: ‘Contemporary is cool too’
The classic ‘chocolate box’ Grade II listed country house can make a wonderful home, especially if it incorporates a contemporary family room and kitchen. But, be warned, the building work can cost much more than you might expect and planning can be such a headache. It may be more economic to look at a more ordinary twentieth century house and consider a complete contemporary re-plan and facelift. Or even a knock-down and new-build to create a cool and unique country home – the result can be stunning – and usually involves fewer planning permission issues too.
Terry – Builder
5. Top tip: ‘Focus and prioritise’
A truly successful renovation is as simple as four words: research, planning, budget, and patience. If budget limitations or a tight schedule are driving your renovation choices, then prioritize. For example always start with kitchen and bath renovations. Improving those spaces at home, above all others, will add ease and comfort to your home and family life. And, just as importantly, they will ultimately lead to a bigger return on your investment.